The announcement that L Brands was shuttering all of its Henri Bendel stores was a shock to the city’s core.
Brokers now worry about filling its iconic 51,120-square-foot flagship space at 712 Fifth Ave. between 56th and 57th streets.
Across the street at 711 Fifth, the vacant 28,000-square-foot corner of the former Ralph Lauren megastore is yet to have a done deal, even for a portion, although broker Gene Spiegelman of Ripco says he has lots of activity and they are considering several proposals. “The most interesting is for the entire space,” he teases.
Bendel, however, rented from the Paramount Group, a major real estate investment trust that won’t have to milk every dime from a new deal.
It was also reported that Tommy Hilfiger is trying to move out of 681 Fifth at 54th Street, while the British darling, Topshop, may also be vacating its 608 Fifth Ave. perch in the Swiss Center. It opened in 2014 at a reported $15 million a year in rent.
Across the street, Puma’s lease of the former American Girl space at 609 Fifth was a big plus for the market. But the news that 530 Fifth rented to discounter Five Below was greeted with wrinkled noses.
“Fifth Avenue has its challenges, and Bendel’s closing is unfortunate,” says Speigelman. “It did not resonate with the modern customer. But in the same way Madison is finding its foothold, Fifth will find its.”